Cybill Lynne Shepherd (born February 18, 1950) is an American actress, singer and former model. Her film debut and breakthrough role came as Jacy Farrow in Peter Bogdanovich's coming-of-age drama The Last Picture Show (1971) alongside Jeff Bridges. She also had roles as Kelly in Elaine May's The Heartbreak Kid (1972), Betsy in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), and Nancy in Woody Allen's Alice (1990).

Cybill Shepherd
Shepherd in 2007
Cybill Lynne Shepherd

(1950-02-18) February 18, 1950 (age 74)
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1968–present
David Ford
(m. 1978; div. 1982)
Bruce Oppenheim
(m. 1987; div. 1990)
Children3, including Clementine Ford

On television, her first major role was as Colleen Champion in the one season of the night-time drama The Yellow Rose (1983). Shepherd played Madelyn Hayes on the detective comedy-drama Moonlighting (1985–1989) opposite Bruce Willis, for which she won two Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical TV Series out of three such nominations. She later starred as Cybill Sheridan on Cybill (1995–1998), for which she won her third Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical TV series. Her later television roles included Phyllis Kroll on The L Word (2007–2009), Madeleine Spencer on Psych (2008–2013), Cassie in the television film The Client List (2010), and Linette Montgomery on The Client List (2012–2013).

Early life and career


Shepherd was born February 18, 1950, in Memphis, Tennessee.[1] She is the second of three children. She had an older sister, Terry, and has a younger brother, William.[2][3] Cybill was named with a blend of her grandfather Cy and her father Bill's names. While attending East High School,[4] Shepherd won the "Miss Teenage Memphis" title and represented the city at the 1966 Miss Teenage America pageant at age 16, where she won the congeniality award.[5] She competed at the 1968 "Model of the Year" contest at age 18, resulting in fashion model assignments through high school and afterwards.[6]

Cybill Shepherd in a photo from Teen from 1970

According to Shepherd's autobiography, a 1970 Glamour magazine cover caught the eye of film director Peter Bogdanovich. His then-wife, Polly Platt, claimed that when she saw the cover in a check-out line in a Ralphs grocery store in southern California, he said "That's Jacy,"[a] referring to the role Bogdanovich was casting—and ultimately given to Shepherd—in The Last Picture Show (1971).



Her first film was The Last Picture Show, also starring Jeff Bridges and Timothy Bottoms. The film became a critical and box office hit, earning eight Academy Awards nominations and winning two. Shepherd was nominated for a Golden Globe. In 1972, Shepherd was cast opposite Charles Grodin in The Heartbreak Kid. She played Kelly, a young woman for whom Grodin's character falls while on his honeymoon in Miami. Directed by Elaine May and written by Neil Simon, it was another critical and box office hit.[7] Also in 1972, Shepherd posed as a Kodak Girl for the camera manufacturer's then-ubiquitous cardboard store poster displays.[8]

In 1974, Shepherd again teamed up with Peter Bogdanovich for the title role in Daisy Miller, based on the Henry James novella. The film—a period piece set in Europe—was a box office failure. That same year, she launched a singing career, releasing a studio album Cybill Does It...To Cole Porter for MCA Records.[9] It was panned by Village Voice critic Robert Christgau, who wrote: "Her voice is surprisingly pleasant, but you'd never know how these songs sparkle. Since Cole didn't like to . . . do it with (or 'to') women very much, maybe the 'do' is as hostile as it sounds."[10]

In 1975, she made At Long Last Love, a film musical directed by Bogdanovich, but, like Daisy Miller, it flopped. Shepherd returned with good reviews for her work in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976). According to Shepherd, Scorsese had requested a "Cybill Shepherd type" for the role. She portrayed Betsy, a volunteer for a presidential candidate with whom Robert De Niro's character, Travis Bickle, becomes infatuated.

A series of less-successful roles followed, including The Lady Vanishes, a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 film. Already sitting in on an acting class taught by Stella Adler, Shepherd was offered work at a dinner theater in Norfolk, Virginia, and turned to friend Orson Welles for advice. He encouraged her to get experience on stage in front of an audience, anywhere but Los Angeles or New York City,[11] away from the harsh big-city critics[12] so she moved back to her home town of Memphis to work in regional theatre.[13]

Return to Hollywood


In 1982, Shepherd returned to New York and to the stage when she played alongside James MacArthur in a theatre tour of Lunch Hour by Jean Kerr.[14] The following year, Shepherd went back to Los Angeles and was cast as Colleen Champion in the NBC television drama The Yellow Rose (1983), opposite Sam Elliott. Although critically acclaimed, the series lasted only one season. A year later, Shepherd was cast as Maddie Hayes on Moonlighting (1985–1989), a role that defined her career. The producers knew that her role depended on having "chemistry" with her co-star, and involved her in the selection of Bruce Willis. A lighthearted combination of mystery and comedy, the series won Shepherd two Golden Globe Awards.[15]

Shepherd in 1985

She starred in Chances Are (1989) with Robert Downey Jr. and Ryan O'Neal, receiving excellent reviews. She then reprised her role as Jacy in Texasville (1990), the sequel to The Last Picture Show (1971), as the original cast (and director Peter Bogdanovich) reunited 20 years after filming the original. She appeared in Woody Allen's Alice (1990) and Eugene Levy's Once Upon a Crime (1992), as well as several television films. In 1997, she won her third Golden Globe award[15] for Cybill (1995–1998), a television sitcom in which the title character, Cybill Sheridan, an actress struggling with hammy roles in B movies and bad soap operas, was loosely modeled on herself, including portrayals of her two ex-husbands and her then-teenage daughter.

In 2000, Shepherd's bestselling autobiography, Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think, written in collaboration with Aimee Lee Ball, was published.[16] That same year, Shepherd hosted a short-lived syndicated talk show version of the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, but left the show in early 2001.[b] In 2003, she guest-starred on 8 Simple Rules as the sister of Cate Hennessy (portrayed by Katey Sagal). She has played Martha Stewart in two television films: Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart (2003) and Martha: Behind Bars (2005).

From 2007 until it ended, Shepherd appeared on The L Word as Phyllis Kroll for the show's final three seasons. In 2008, she joined the cast of Psych as main character Shawn Spencer's mother, Madeleine Spencer. On November 7, 2008, Shepherd guest-starred in a February episode of the CBS drama Criminal Minds.[17] In 2010 Shepherd appeared in an episode of No Ordinary Family[18] and in November of the same year she guest-starred in an episode of $♯*! My Dad Says.[19]

Shepherd appeared alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt in the 2010 television film The Client List and then in the 2012-13 series based on the film.

In July 2012, Shepherd made her Broadway debut in the revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre alongside James Earl Jones, John Stamos, John Larroquette, Kristin Davis, and Elizabeth Ashley to positive reviews.[20]

Shepherd appeared as a mother grieving the death of her daughter in Do You Believe? (2015), a Christian-themed movie produced by Pure Flix Entertainment.[21]

In 2019 she took on a role as an ex-cop senior struggling with illness who unexpectedly finds love on a road trip in the direct to cable Being Rose.

In 2023, Shepherd starred in the Lifetime film How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story, where she portrayed Nancy Brophy, opposite Steve Guttenberg as Daniel Brophy, in a dramatization of the Murder of Daniel Brophy.[22]

Personal life


Shepherd began a relationship with Peter Bogdanovich on the set of The Last Picture Show, during his marriage to Polly Platt, who Bogdanovich subsequently divorced. The relationship between the young star and her director lasted 8 years. In her autobiography,[23] Shepherd revealed that she called her mother in 1978, crying and unhappy with the way her life and career were going. Her mother replied, "Cybill, come home." Shepherd went home to Memphis, where she met and began dating David M. Ford, a local auto parts dealer and nightclub entertainer. She became pregnant, and the couple married that year. Their daughter, Clementine Ford, was born in 1979. The marriage ended in divorce in 1982.

In 1987, Shepherd became pregnant by chiropractor Bruce Oppenheim and married him. They had twins named Ariel and Zachariah Shepherd Oppenheim born during the fourth season of Moonlighting.[24] The couple divorced in 1990.[citation needed] She had an intimate relationship with author Larry McMurtry, whom she once called the love of her life.[25]

In June 2012, Shepherd became engaged to psychologist Andrei Nikolajevic.[26] By 2015, the engagement had been called off.[27]

Political activism

Shepherd with President Ronald Reagan in 1988

Throughout her career, Shepherd has been an outspoken activist for issues such as gay rights[28] and abortion rights.[29] In 2009, she was honored by the Human Rights Campaign in Atlanta with one of two National Ally for Equality awards.[30] She has been an advocate for same-sex marriage.[31]

She was present at the opening of the National Civil Rights Museum in her hometown of Memphis, to which she lent financial support.[32]

Religious beliefs


Shepherd was raised Christian, but stated that she eventually "lost touch" with the religion.[21] In a 2007 interview with Metro Weekly, she described herself as being "a goddess-worshipping Christian Pagan Buddhist".[33]

In October 2014, Shepherd said that she had reconnected with her Christian faith.[21]



Emmy Awards



In her autobiography,[23] Shepherd addressed rumors that she was jealous of her co-stars Bruce Willis and Christine Baranski for winning Emmy awards while she has not: "The grain of truth in this controversy was that of course I was envious. Who doesn't want to win an Emmy?"

Golden Globe Awards







Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Last Picture Show Jacy Farrow Nominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
1972 The Heartbreak Kid Kelly Corcoran
1974 Daisy Miller Annie P. 'Daisy' Miller
1975 At Long Last Love Brooke Carter
1976 Taxi Driver Betsy
1976 Special Delivery Mary Jane
1977 Aliens from Spaceship Earth Herself Documentary
1978 Silver Bears Debbie Luckman
1979 The Lady Vanishes Amanda Kelly
1979 Americathon Gold Girl
1980 The Return Jennifer
1989 Chances Are Corinne Jeffries
1990 Texasville Jacy Farrow
1990 Alice Nancy Brill
1991 Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich Herself Documentary
1991 Married to It Claire Laurent
1992 Once Upon a Crime... Marilyn Schwary
1995 The Last Word Kiki Taylor
1997 Journey of the Heart Janice Johnston Television movie
1999 The Muse Herself
2000 Marine Life June
2002 Due East Nell Dugan Television movie
2003 Easy Riders, Raging Bulls Herself
2004 Signs and Voices Herself
2006 Open Window Arlene Fieldson
2006 Hard Luck Cass
2009 Barry Munday Herself
2009 Another Harvest Moon Vickie
2009 Listen to Your Heart Victoria
2010 Expecting Mary Meg
2014 Kelly & Cal Bev
2015 Do You Believe? Teri
2015 She's Funny That Way Nettie Patterson
2017 Being Rose Rose
2020 Love Is Love Is Love Nancy


Year Title Role Notes
1978 A Guide for the Married Woman Julie Walker Television movie
1983 Fantasy Island Liz Episode: "Return to the Cotton Club"
1983–84 The Yellow Rose Colleen Champion 22 episodes
1983 Masquerade Carla Episode: "Pilot"
1984 Secrets of a Married Man Elaine Television movie
1985 Seduced Vicki Orloff Television movie
1985 The Long Hot Summer Eula Varner Television movie
1985–89 Moonlighting Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes 64 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1986-1987)
People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Performer in a Television Series (1986-1988)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
1991 Which Way Home Karen Parsons Television movie
1992 Memphis Reeny Perdew Television movie
1992 Stormy Weathers Samantha Weathers Television movie
1993 Telling Secrets Faith Kelsey Television movie
1993 There Was a Little Boy Julie Warner Television movie
1994 Baby Brokers Debbie Freeman Television movie
1994 While Justice Sleeps Jody Stokes Television movie
1995–98 Cybill Cybill Sheridan 87 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Performer in a Television Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1995-1997)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2003 8 Simple Rules Aunt Maggie 2 episodes
2003 Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart Martha Stewart Television movie
2004 I'm With Her Suzanne 2 episodes
2005 Detective Karen Ainslie Television movie
2005 Martha: Behind Bars Martha Stewart Television movie
2007–09 The L Word Phyllis Kroll 18 episodes
2008–13 Psych Madeline Spencer 5 episodes
2008 Samantha Who? Paula Drake Episode: "So I Think I Can Dance"
2009 Criminal Minds Leona Gless Episode: "Cold Comfort"
2009–10 Eastwick Eleanor Rougement 5 episodes
2009 High Noon Essie McNamara Television movie
2009 Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith Alice Washington Television movie
2010 Drop Dead Diva Ellie Tannen Episode: "Queen of Mean"
2010 $♯*! My Dad Says Charlotte Anne Robinson Episode: "Make a Wish"
2010 No Ordinary Family Barbara Crane Episode: "No Ordinary Visitors"
2010 The Client List Cassie Television movie
2012–13 The Client List Linette Montgomery 23 episodes
2012 Hot in Cleveland April Episode: "What's Behind the Door"
2012 Franklin and Bash Evanthia Steele Episode: "Jango and Rossi"
2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit[34] Jolene Castille Episode: "American Tragedy"
2018 The Comedy Central Roast Herself Episode: "Bruce Willis"
2021 Guilty Party Susan Burgess Episode: "Acts of Devotion"
2023 How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story Nancy Brophy Television movie


  • Cybill Does It...To Cole Porter (Paramount, 1974)
  • Mad About the Boy (Tombstone, 1976)
  • Cybill Getz Better (Inner City, 1976)
  • Vanilla (Gold Castle, 1979)
  • Somewhere Down the Road (Gold Castle, 1990)
  • Talk Memphis to Me (Drive Archive, 1997)
  • Songs from The Cybill Show (1999)
  • Live at the Cinegrill (2001)
  • At Home With Cybill (2004)
  • Jazz Baby Volumes 1–3 (2005)


  • At Long Last Love (soundtrack) (1975)
  • Moonlighting (soundtrack) (1987)


  1. ^ Polly Platt talks about the magazine cover discovery in the film documentary based on the Peter Biskind book, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.
  2. ^ Shepherd was replaced on the talk show by Cristina Ferrare, Bo Griffin, Sam Phillips, Drew Pinsky, and Rondell Sheridan.


  1. ^ "Cybill Shepherd". Cengage. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  2. ^ T. H. R. Staff (November 18, 2019). "Cybill Shepherd Dedicates Trevor Project Award to Late Sister and LGBTQ Youth". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  3. ^ "Cybill Disobedience: Cybill Shepherd returns to her Memphis hometown". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  4. ^ Lauderdale, Vance (March 28, 2019). "When Cybill Shepherd Was a Student at East High School". Memphis Magazine. Contemporary Media. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Cybill Shepard, Miss Congeniality 1966". Archived from the original on October 9, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ UPI (August 20, 1973). "Cybill Shepherd relaxes with her success". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  7. ^ The Heartbreak Kid at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ West, Nancy Martha (2000). Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia. p. 53. ISBN 0-8139-1959-2. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  9. ^ "Cybill Shepherd Music Discography". February 18, 2009. Archived from the original on February 15, 2004. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 12, 2019 – via
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (March 14, 1989). "Many sides of Cybill Shepherd revealed". Observer–Reporter. Washington, Pennsylvania.
  12. ^ Donahue, Deirdre (November 4, 1985). "Cybill's Style". People.
  13. ^ Bykowsky, Stuart (January 9, 1985). "Cybill Shepherd: 'There is a freakdom to beauty'". Evening Independent. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  14. ^ "MacArthur & Shepherd star in Lunch Hour". The Hour. August 4, 1982. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  15. ^ a b "Cybill Shepherd - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  16. ^ "Best Sellers: Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  17. ^ Exclusive: Michael Biehn, Cybill Shepherd Cop Criminal Roles" TV Guide. November 7, 2008. Retrieved on November 7, 2008.
  18. ^ "No Ordinary Family Books Cybill Shepherd... and Bruce!". September 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  19. ^ "Exclusive $#*!: Cybill Shepherd Guest-Starring on CBS Comedy". November 3, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  20. ^ "First-rate second cast on Broadway in 'Gore Vidal's The Best Man'". Daily News. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.; "Playing politics remains Vidal". New York Post. July 8, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.; "REVIEW: Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man' looks better than ever". June 8, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  21. ^ a b c "Cybill Shepherd rekindles Christian faith, says she's 'talking to Jesus' again', October 20, 2014". Christianity Today. October 20, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  22. ^ Lambe, Stacy (December 16, 2022). "'How to Murder Your Husband': Watch Cybill Shepherd and Steve Guttenberg in the Trailer (Exclusive)". ET Online. Retrieved January 15, 2023.
  23. ^ a b Shepherd, Cybill (2001). Cybill Disobedience. Avon. ISBN 0-06-103014-7.
  24. ^ "Local News in Brief: Twins for Cybill Shepherd". LA Times. October 7, 1987.
  25. ^ Garner, Dwight (September 4, 2023). "Larry McMurtry, a Critter of the American West Who Rejected Its Mythos". The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved September 4, 2023.
  26. ^ "Cybill Shepherd reveals she's recently engaged". Daily News. July 23, 2012. Archived from the original on July 25, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  27. ^ "Cybill Shepherd Shares Her Spiritual Journey". Entertainment Tonight. March 14, 2015.
  28. ^ "New video counters anti-gay message". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. April 21, 1993. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
  29. ^ "In Pictures: US Abortion March - Actresses Cybill Shepherd, Whoopi Goldberg and Ashley Judd were among those marching". BBC. April 26, 2004. Retrieved May 23, 2011.; Cox News Service (April 11, 1989). "Nationwide pro-choice rally planned". Eugene Register-Guard. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
  30. ^ " Domain is for Sale". Archived from the original on November 7, 2015.
  31. ^ "Cybill Shepherd works with her daughter on 'The L Word'. Both play lesbians, and ignore each other's love scenes". April 1, 2008. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
  32. ^ "Overview for Cybill Shepherd". TCM. Retrieved May 23, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  33. ^ "'Cybill Rights', March 22, 2007, interview by Randy Shulman for Metro Weekly". March 22, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  34. ^ "Exclusive: Cybill Shepherd to Guest Star on Law & Order: SVU". August 20, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013.